3G is the third generation of wireless technologies. It brings improvements over previous wireless technologies, such as high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming.
3G was primarily used with mobile phones and handsets as a means of connecting the phone to the internet or other IP networks in order to make voice and video calls, download and send data, and surf the Web.
The 3G standard has been superseded by the 4G standard, which itself is being eclipsed by 5G services.
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History of 3G
3G follows a model of G that the ITU launched in the early 1990s. This model is a wireless initiative called International Mobile Communications 2000. 3G therefore comes right after 2G and 2.5G, the second generation technologies. generation.
2G technologies include, among others, the Global System for Mobile. 2.5G brought standards that are midway between 2G and 3G, including General Packet Radio Service, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, and others.
How is 3G better?
3G offers several improvements over 2.5G and previous networks:
- Multiple times the data rate
- Improved audio and video stream
- Video conferencing support
- Web and WAP browsing at higher speeds
- Support IPTV (Internet TV)
The transfer rate for 3G networks is between 128 and 144 kilobits per second for fast moving devices, and 384 kbps for slow devices – like walking pedestrians. For fixed wireless LANs, the speed exceeds 2 Mbps.
3G includes standards such as W-CDMA, WLAN, and cellular radio, among others.
Unlike Wi-Fi, which you can get for free at hotspots, you had to subscribe to a service provider to get 3G network connectivity. This type of service is often referred to as a data plan or a network plan.
Your device was connecting to the 3G network through its SIM card (in the case of a mobile phone) or its 3G data card (which can be of different types, such as USB, PCMCIA, etc.), both generally provided or sold by the service provider.
These cards allow the device to connect to the internet when it is within range of a network. In fact, the device is backwards compatible with older technologies, which is why a 3G-capable phone can benefit from 2G service if it is available while 3G service is not.
The craze for 3G in the early 2010s has died down; most devices now support the 4G standard, using 3G as a fallback if 4G connections are unavailable. In some parts of the world, especially in rural areas, 3G remains a basic service.